GOLD COAST, April 9 — Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria expressed his disappointment after the national squad failed to defend the team gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, losing 1-3 to India in the final.
He was also not satisfied with the performance of mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying, who lost to Indian pair Satwik Rankireddy-Ashwini Ponnappa, who are not among the world’s highest ranking doubles teams.
“First of all, I want to express my disappointment over the fact that it has been our tradition to win the gold medal in the Commonwealth Games for team events, and today we failed in the mission when we lost to India.
“We see that our dependency on the senior players today proves that we are not ready to be competitive with emerging teams like India. Today, we failed in the mixed doubles and Chong Wei (Datuk Lee Chong Wei in the men’s singles),” he said.
But in spite of the negative result, Mohamad Norza was all praise for national singles player Soniia Cheah for showing exceptionally good spirit and sportsmanship for giving it her all despite nursing an ankle injury.
“Despite the defeat today, we are happy with the way Soniia played event though she is injured, because before the game, we were toying with the idea of replacing her with one of the mix doubles ladies, but she wanted to play.
“But if you are fighting against the world’s number 12, when the team is already on the verge of defeat, it’s a big challenge to take on. But she did well, and credit must be given to Soniia,” he said.
Mohamad Norza also called on the players to forget the defeat today and focus on the upcoming individual events, adding he was optimistic that the squad could still achieve the three gold medal target.
In the meantime, Soniia said she was disappointed she could not help contribute a point to the team to equalise, but that she had worked hard despite her injury.
“I’m a little sorry for the team because I did not deliver the point. I’m sorry for that, but I really did try my best. But she (Saina Nehwal) is a high ranking player, and is more experienced in handling pressure.
Soniia will be back in action for the women’s singles event which begins tomorrow, where she has a bye in the first round. — Bernama